Vainieri Huttle-Sponsored Law Already Enacted in NJ Will Create Joint Taskforce to Prevent Flooding Hazards in Bergen & Rockland Counties
New Jersey Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Tim Eustace on Wednesday applauded New York lawmakers for taking eagerly-awaited action to join with New Jersey to help stem the tide of reoccurring flooding in communities in Bergen and Rockland counties.
“I’m encouraged by the fact that New York remains committed to tackling this pressing problem,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Given the complexity of addressing issues that span two states and multiple waterways, it’s crucial that we proceed cooperatively otherwise we may end up negating each other’s best intentions. New Jersey and New York must work together to address issues that impact our region”
“This is great news for the residents of both of our states who have been plagued by repeated flooding in recent years,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Development, changes in weather patterns and a host of other factors demand that we work on a long-term plan and solutions together.”
In 2011, New Jersey enacted a law (A-2440) sponsored by Vainieri Huttle and Eustace’s former district-mate Connie Wagner, which would create a bi-state taskforce to deal with the flooding and devastation affecting these communities. However, similar legislation must be enacted by both states in order for it to take affect. New York’s legislature then approved a companion measure last year, which was later vetoed by Gov. Cuomo.
Vainieri Huttle and Eustace applauded the fact that New York Senator David Carlucci and others added language to New York’s budget to make the bi-state taskforce a reality. Governor Cuomo signed the New York State Budget on April 1, which provided $100,000 in funding to the bi-state commission.
The lawmakers said this action is important because it has been difficult to address the rampant flooding affecting communities in both states because it stems from rivers and tributaries that stretch between state lines, including the Mahwah River, Hackensack River, Ramapo River, and other waterways.